“Tell us Mike…how old were you when you went to your first Rated R movie? And what movie was it? HMMMMM?!”
My wife left this comment on my last post because she was amused by my indignation in seeing a family at The Pineapple Express. This is because when I was a kid I went to many a less than appropriate film with my infamous mother.
Here are just a few of my movie memories:
1984: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (Rating: “R”)
I was nine when I saw this charming family film about a man named Jason who kills a crap load of people. I don’t remember being traumatized by this one or anything, but I can, twenty-three years on, still summon up an image of a guy getting his head slashed off, and that can’t be good, can it?
1985: Mischief (Rating: “R”)
This one was a teen sex comedy starring a young Kelly Preston who had an extended full frontal nude shot. Disturbingly, despite having that murder scene from Friday the 13th burned into my brain, I have absolutely no memory of seeing the beautiful Mrs. Travolta in the buff. Sigh. I looked this charmer up on IMDB and found the following bit of dialogue from the film:
EXT. BASKETBALL COURT – DAY
John and Eugene are shooting hoops.
JOHN: “So why’d you come to our school?”
EUGENE: “Got kicked out of my last school.”
EUGENE: “F%*$ed three chicks.”
I’d say that’s totally appropriate for a nine-year-old boy to hear, wouldn’t you?
Now that I think about it I just remembered that my mother took me and my friend, David, to see this, and at one point he nudged me and pointed down at his jeans where there was a little pup tent. With a twinkle in his eye he whispered, “Check it out! Boner!”
Gee. I’m drudging up some weird memories here I’d really rather not linger in. Let’s move on to the next film I never should have been watching…
1988 – Above The Law (Rating: “R”)
(NOTE: This film couldn’t have been too bad for kids…after all…they made an action figure out of it!)
I was twelve when I saw Steven Seagal kill lots and lots of bad guys in this one. Interestingly, my mother made us leave the theater early – not because she found the flic innapropriate – but because two dudes in front of us got into a fight and one pulled out a gun!
1991 – The Doors (Rating: “R”)
I was fifteen when I saw this one with dear old Mom. Though I was getting closer to being mature enough to see “R” rated films, I wasn’t quite ready to watch one that featured wall to wall drug use and plenty of Jim Morrison/groupie sex. My mom must have agreed because she actually made us leave after about an hour because she deemed it innapropriate. I was cool with this though because I’d totally already seen Meg Ryan naked.
The funny thing was that, on the way to the car, my mother was fighting mad and kept saying things like, “If I knew this movie was going to be full of that much sex and drugs, well…”
I know, Mom! I mean The Doors? Doing lots of drugs and groupies? Shocking!
Anyhoo, I suppose Heather has a point that it is funny I was so weirded out by the creepy family at The Pineapple Express, but just because I saw “R” rated movies as a kid doesn’t mean I want Maddie to see them as well.
I suppose one could say that I am (relatively) normal despite having seen these movies, and I wouldn’t disagree, but as parents we have to be much more militant today than my parents did. Letting me see this stuff back in the day wasn’t soooo bad because – for example – outside of these few movies I never so much as saw a naked woman. Many kids today, however, have seen hard core porn by the age of nine thanks to the internet.
I think the point is that we have to protect our kids as much as possible in this modern world because innapropriate stuff will get to them, but WE don’t have to supply it.
Anyway, I want to thank all of you for your comments! It is great to hear that for the most part we all agree it is important to protect our kids and keep them young as long as possible.
FYI…my Mom is available to take any of your kids to the movies if you like. Any takers? Anyone?